5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening to is a collection of our newest favorite songs. Every week we ask an artist that we love to tell us about the music they love.
Listen to the whole segment and all the songs below.
1. Courtney Barnett picks “Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monáe
Our guest this week is Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett. She is one of the smartest songwriters making music right now, as well as one of our favorites here at Radio Milwaukee. She has a new album coming out called “Tell Me How You Feel” which includes the song “Nameless, Faceless” that can be heard on 88.9. She will be coming to Milwaukee on October 17 at The Pabst Theater. You can read my full interview with her here.
Justin Barney: One question that I love to ask every artist is, “What’s one song right now that you can’t stop listening to?”
Courtney Barnett: Oh my God. The new Janelle Monáe song- I love it so much.
Justin Barney: Oh my God. Which one?
Courtney Barnett: It’s called “Make Me Feel.”
Justin Barney: “Make Me Feel.” Yeah. What do you like about that?
Courtney Barnett: I don’t know. I’m not sure what it is. I just know I like it a lot. It’s gonna be my favorite song of the year.
Justin Barney: Do you remember where you heard it for the first time?
Courtney Barnett: Yeah, probably in this room the other day on Spotify. That’s not very exciting. It’s just a really great song.
Justin Barney: Yeah. Well, let’s listen to it. This is “Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monáe.
- “Make Me Feel” will appear on Janelle Monáe’s new album, “Dirty Computer” out April 27.
- Listen if you like: Prince, David Byrne, just really good songs
2. The Social Experiment picks “Give Me a Try” by Sizzla
For the first song of every week, we always ask one artist that we love to tell us about a song that they love.
Justin Barney: Nico, what is one song that you can’t stop listening to.
Nico Segal: Man, I have been listening to the Young Thug album, but there’s a specific song that reminded a friend of mine of a different song that he put me onto by an artist named Sizzla. S-I-Z-Z-L-A
Justin Barney: Not SZA. Sizzla.
Nico Segal: Sizzla. The song is called “Give Me a Try” and it is extremely hot. I encourage the world to indulge themselves.
Justin Barney: What about it is hot? What makes it hot?
Nico Segal: The simplicity. His vocal is really unique and interesting. The melodies are all really interesting. The beat itself sounds really good. Like I said, this beautiful simplicity, showing a lot of people where music today was at one point, where it’s been influenced from. It’s not super super old, but it definitely shows you this combining of genres and this combining of feels that’s happening now.
Justin Barney: It’s a footstep from where we were to right now.
Nico Segal: Indeed. He’s mostly a reggae artist, but this song in particular is very ambiguous and very hot.
Justin Barney: Alright. Let’s do it.
- “Give Me a Try” was released in 2003 on Sizzla’s album, “Give Me a Try.”
- Listen if you like: Young Thug, rap/reggae, hot tracks
3. Ani DiFranco picks – “Thru You Too” by Princess Shaw and Kutiman
Ani DiFranco is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, poet, songwriter, feminist icon, and businesswoman. She has released over 20 albums throughout her career. Her latest is “Binary,” from which we are playing the song, “Binary.” I’m here with Ani DiFranco.
Justin Barney: Ani, what is one song right now that you can’t stop listening to?
Ani DiFranco: “Thru You Too” by Princess Shaw and Kutiman.
Justin Barney: Hmmmmm, I am vaguely familiar.
Ani DiFranco: Well let me tell you a little background on this track. There is a movie out there called “Presenting Princess Shaw” which I saw recently.
Justin Barney: Yeeeees.
Ani DiFranco: And it totally blew my mind!
There is this woman in New Orleans who is a vlogger and has a Youtube channel. She sings and composes these acapella melodies and puts them out into the world.
And then there is Kutiman, this guy on the other side of the world in Tel Aviv, Israel. He made and built these tracks behind her acapella videos. And they are amazing tracks. He takes tracks that people have on the internet. People doing little demos on their instruments and that’s how he makes the tracks. Then he releases them back into the world through the internet. No traditional record company or means of dissemination. It’s all very modern. And beautiful.
Kuttiman has this friend in Israel that’s a documentary filmmaker and he came here, simply telling Princess Shaw that he was doing a documentary about people who vlog. So he’s capturing real-life footage and you watch her…
Justin Barney: So she didn’t know…
Ani DiFranco: She didn’t know! So you watch the moment when she first hears this track that Kutiman built behind her song. And then it goes viral in front of your eyes and hers. It’s so emotional.
It’s like a modern Cinderella story.
Justin Barney: That’s incredible.
Ani DiFranco: I feel like they reinvented art for the 21st century.
- “Thru You Too” was uploaded to Youtube in 2014 by Kutiman.
- Listen if you like: Ani DiFranco, loop pedals, inspiring stories
4. The Decemberists pick “Emotional Motion Sickness” By Phoebe Bridgers
The Decemberists are our guest this week on 5 Songs. They are one of my favorite bands of all time. But aside from my personal fandom, they formed in 2000, they have released eight full length albums, the most recent being, “I’ll Be Your Girl.” They are coming to Milwaukee, playing at the Riverside Theater on April 8th. This is just part of a larger conversation that I had with Colin Meloy.
Our guest is Colin Meloy, lead singer of The Decemberists.
Justin Barney: What is one song you can’t stop listening to right now?
Colin Meloy: There is this Phoebe Bridgers song. The video is just her riding a skateboard, it’s called “Emotional Motion Sickness.” That’s a great song.
Justin Barney: And what do you like about that song?
Colin Meloy: I think she’s got really good pop sensibilities. I think the phrasing, the lyric, and the melody is really infectious. And I always dig that when people do that.
- “Emotional Motion Sickness” was released last year on Phoebe Bridgers debut album, “Stranger in the Alps.”
- Listen if you like: Margaret Glaspy, Anna Burch, great lyrics
- Full interview
5. Rostam picks “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake
Our guest today is Rostam. He started his music career in the band Vampire Weekend. Recently, he has moved on and released his own solo album, “Half-Light,” which includes the song “Bike Dream.”
Justin Barney: Hello, Rostam.
Rostam: Hey, how’s it going?
Justin Barney: Good. At our studio session, you covered the song “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake. Why did you choose to cover that song?
Rostam: It was a song that I’ve loved since I was a kid, then when I was in college I got into the whole album and I got into Nick Drake as a whole. I got into all of his records. What’s different about the album “Pink Moon” is that there’s no instruments on it except for guitar and vocals- acoustic guitar specifically, and vocals. “Pink Moon” the song is the one song that has a piano line that comes in, so it’s like the one deviation.
Justin Barney: Uh-huh
Rostam: The story that I heard about the making of that record was, it was his third album, he had made two other albums that had a lot of instruments on them; a lot of arrangements, and drums, keyboards, and various things. He decided that on this third album he didn’t want to add anything to it. He just wanted to leave it how it was, just acoustic and vocals. It is my favorite of his albums, and it’s also one of my favorite albums of all time.
Justin Barney: Then it sold terribly, and he quit doing music after.
Rostam: Yeah, apparently he struggled with live performances because all of his songs were in different tunings, so it would take him a long time to retune the guitar.
Justin Barney: Yeah, never great.
Rostam: So that’s why I only do one song with acoustic guitar in my live show, and that’s “Pink Moon.”
Justin Barney: Right on. “Pink Moon” by Nick Drake
- “Pink Moon” was originally released in 1972 on the album of the same name.
- Listen if you like: British folkies, singer songwriters, one of the greatest songs of all time